Margate Real Estate Squeeze Play Squashed by Planning Board


Imagine building a FULL SIZE home on a Margate waterfront. Now imagine the lot is about the size of a large driveway….and it’s been deemed ‘un-buildable’.

This is nothing new for the Margate Planning Board. But this month’s festivities (brutally long, 5+ hour meeting) featured a long-shot move by the esteemed Margate City Solicitor, John Scott Abbott that got shot down.

Listen to audio highlights:

On the evening of March 23, a planning board presentation was made by attorneys representing Elizabeth Abbott & Andrew Feriozzi, the daughter & son in law of Margate City Solicitor, John Scott Abbott.

The young couple wanted to build a single family home on this tiny lot located at 350 N. Rumson Ave.

The Margate parcel is owned by Maxx-Roxx, an LLC jointly owned by John Scott Abbott and his wife, Joanne, a local real estate agent.


Our rough notes from the meeting:

The applicants claim this will NOT be a spec home. They will actually live there. Raise their family.

History lesson: A petition to build on this lot was denied by the Margate Planning Board back in 1979.

As usual, Attorney Chris Baylinson went above & beyond for his clients. Baylinson faced a very steep, uphill battle representing Abbott’s daughter & son in law.

Potential conflicts of interest were discussed briefly. 3 board members recused themselves: Guber Naulty, Gallantino & Clem Wasleski.

Neighbors would suffer hardship, not Abbott. Neighbors bought their adjacent properties knowing this (Abbott-owned) lot was deemed un-buildable.

Preserve existing integrity of neighborhood. Buyers were always made aware that building on this 350 N Rumson lot, is NOT allowed.

This is an improved lot. It’s NOT vacant. There’s private parking & a dock. No hardship here. This plot has value.


Zoning ordinance. Master plan. Must preserve character of neighborhood. Visual integrity. Building on a 30 ft lot, in-between the homes built on 50 ft lots, would stand out like a sore thumb.

Neighbor offered $200k to buy land that Abbott purchased for $75k in 2015. Abbott now wants $600k. Can’t blame him for asking.

Next door neighbors were assured that the lot would NOT be developed with a home.

Neighbors say the bulkhead is failing at 350 N Rumson. That’s why $200k was offered, NOT $275k. (will cost approx $75k to fix Abbott’s bulkhead) The property also looks to be operating as a marina.

350 N Rumson in Margate was last sold for $75,000 on March 20, 2015. This property was assessed for $177,400.00. The land was assessed at $172,200.00 and the improvements to the property were assessed at $5,200.00.


350 N Rumson Ave. MAXX-ROXX LLC

Overdevelopment. Potential for conflict of interest. Oversized parking lot. Squeeze a house into a 30 ft lot, where 50 ft is required. Sometimes, 40ft is OK’ed.

30 ft lots were appropriate back in 1930 when cottages ruled. NO hardship for current property owner. Knew lot was un-buildable. Hardships would be transferred to neighbors. Grossly undersized lot. Lot does not conform to master plan. 50ft is required. They are asking for 30ft.

THE VOTE:

  • Tom Collins: YES.
  • Rich Patterson: NO.
  • Mike Christaldi: NO
  • Craig Palmisano: NO.
  • Despona Hess: NO.
  • Ron Grupo: NO.
  • Mike Richman: NO.

3 thoughts on “Margate Real Estate Squeeze Play Squashed by Planning Board”

  1. Chumley McGillicutty

    Welcome to Margate! If you’re not connected, you’re not connected. Funny, Tom Collins owns Colmar Harware Store, he is the only one that voted yes. Yes = Business hmmmmmmm, just a thought

  2. Tom Collins must have been drinking again to vote yes on this one. Or maybe there was something in it for his brother in law , our wonderful Mayor Becker.

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